Karl Blau Heads to Africa for New Full-Length

Karl Blau Heads to Africa for New Full-Length

While it may only be August, the folks at K Records are already lining up their fall release schedule, which we're pleased to see includes yet another offering from Pacific Northwest lo-fi hero Karl Blau. Come October 6, Blau will be unveiling Zebra, the proper follow-up to perhaps his finest moment thus far, 2008's Nature's Got Away.

According to the PR, "Blau pays homage to the feedback of music from Africa and the music of African descent," which explains that very tribal-looking bit of album art above. It also goes on to say, "For Zebra, Blau explored the frontiers of folklore, adding one instrument at a time (drum, guitar, bell, keys, saxophone, flute, piano) in an organic process of response to this confluence of sounds," before letting us know that we should "practice how we dance."

And, really, this move to a more movement-inspiring piece of work was to be expected. When Exclaim! chatted with Blau last year, he said: "I have been listening to a lot of African music, in its relative place of now, in how it's spread around the world and bounced back as reflections of Africa. I mean, what I listen to is mostly hip-hop and African music in its various incarnations. I've definitely gone back to feeling the Sade/Marvin Gaye thing, with these simple repeating bass lines and kind of message rock. Not necessarily that I have a message, though."

Blau has several shows lined up in the U.S. (which you can see here), but so far none planned for Canada. In the meantime, here is the tracklisting for Zebra:

1. "Waiting for the Wind"
2. "Crucial Contact"
3. "Apology to Pollinateurs"
4. "All Over the Town"
5. "Free the Bird"
6. "Goodbye Little Song"
7. "Dark Sedan"
8. "Welcome in NW"

9. "Tha' Ole Moon Smile"
10. "MT Handed"

11. "Nothing New"
12. "Gnos Le Vohs"